Summary of the Ultraman World Championship 2022.

Our collaborator in the world of ultradistance, Marcos Bonilla, tells us his vision of what happened in the Ultraman World Championship held this past weekend on the island of Hawaii.

The athletes who have participated in this ultraman triathlon They have traveled for 3 days a total of 515 km, with the following format:

  • 1st day: swimming kilometers (6,2 miles) and then cycling 144,8 kilometers (90 miles).
  • Day 2: 273,5 kilometers (170 miles) of cycling.
  • Day 3: 84,3 kilometers (52,4 miles) of running

This year the 36th edition of the Ultraman of Hawaii between November 25, 26 and 27, and has contacted a participation of 42 triathletes.

This is his chronicle:


Super interesting everything that happened in the expected first Ultraman of Hawaii in 3 years.

So much so that I don't know where to start; fierce fight between Rob Gray and Richard Thompson (I'm going to take very seriously the "fortune teller" of the Ultraman hehe), fall of Rob Gray and Barry Berg on the bike of the second stage, the appearance of a girl like Dede Grisbauer getting into the top 3 overall.

(Yes… you read correctly, a 51-year-old woman getting ahead of the first men in the 3 stages), and a very intense fight between the former world champion Tara Norton, Leanda Cave and the Israeli Antonina Reznikov for the second and third women's plaza...

So, I start in chronological order from the first stage, but before; a small summary of the best times by sectors, something very visual that is always interesting to know, and I love to present it first, before explaining the summary with other details, so that you can draw your own conclusions:

-The 10K swimming of the 1st stage was won by the Canadian Barry Berg with 2 hours 46'.

-The 145 K of the cycling sector of the 1st stage; Watch out: Richard Thompson completed them in 4 Hours 38' and 53”, establishing a new record in the history of the UM of Hawaii in the new route of this sector.

-The general of the first stage ended with Rob Gray in the lead with a total swimming and cycling time of: 7 hours 32' and 13”… but be careful; champion Dede Grisbauer finished 2nd OVERALL, just 14” behind Rob…

Impressive: It seems to me of incredible merit... At the feet of this lady.

-The 280 km of the second stage: As expected; the best time for Richard Thompson with 7 hours 35'05”. And Dede with 8 hours and 2´ (Let's not normalize the incredible; 3rd best time of the 2nd stage, I repeat: impressive!).

-The 84,4 K of the “double marathon”; Richard Thompson finishing the job with 6 hours 55'. And Dede; also putting his "icing on the cake" arriving 1st of the girls and 3rd overall... Without words ooagain... with a time of 7 hours and 48'.

Reviewing the best of each sector, let's go to the mess, to the summary of the stages, but not before making a brief special mention to the women of this Ultraman, because it has been incredible:

Probably the first stage, it has been the most fun of the three, with several position changes among the top 10 triathletes.

Above all because among those 10 we found ourselves with the first 4 or 5 girls, of course, for me this has been the Ultraman of the "hit on the table" for women, and look, I saw it up close, in the Ultraman of Canada 2015 that I ran.

For Kate Bevilacua to be champion ahead of all the men, in a super-demanding UM (if not the most) and going down in history because being the first woman to do something similar, but I think the role of women in this UM of Hawaii exceeds that of every year, I don't know if it is the social inertia worldwide, but it is certainly something very positive for other women in the world to catch this discipline. With that said, let's get down to business:

1st STAGE:

Once again, the personal unforeseen events in the participating triathletes caused the initial number of competitors to decrease, giving the start on the 25th to only 39 triathletes, of which; 11 did not pass the cut-off time of any stage or were injured, of them 8 men and 3 women, leaving only 28 triathletes in the last stage.

Also remember that only two Spaniards finally left: Luis de Arriba and Miguel Madrid López, to whom we have sent all our energy.

On the other hand, the scarcity of participants did not affect the show, since there was a great dance of squares from the swimming sector, to the end of the bike sector of the stage, and so that you can see the fun evolution I expose the swimming times in Contrast with those on the bike, so that you can compare how they came out of swimming and how they finished the bike:

>Sector 10K of swimming in the 1st stage:

1st-Barry Berg 2H46´

2nd-Ryan Rinear 2H49´19”

3rd-Dede Griesbauer 2H49'53” (Watch out; 34” from the 2nd of the boys, from that moment on he would not drop the first place for girls)

4th-Rob Gray 2H50´ (I'm still wrong, but in my opinion he could have gone stronger and he didn't do it out of pure strategy, we already know that he can do 2H “forty-something”…)

5th-Lean Cave 2H57´ (2nd of the girls in swimming).

6th-Steven Keller 3H04´17”

7th-Richard Thompson 3H04'24” (He knew perfectly well that it wasn't his forte, but even so he started with enough margin to recover positions on the bike).

10th-Tara Norton 3H22´ (the 3rd of the girls in swimming).

Regarding the 1st sector, as for the other triathletes, it is fair to say that after 3 and a half hours (and this happens every year), currents are formed in that area that not only make you have more resistance to advance , but also more wear and tear, hence those cuts that affect those of us who swim the worst.

That is why it is convenient to push in the first 6-7 km of swimming and avoid encountering these currents.

>Sector 145K bike in the 1st stage:

1st-Ricahrd Thompson 4H38'53” (New record in the bike sector of the first stage with the new route, in 2018 he already did 4 hours 05' with the old one.

Summing up: he gets 3rd overall).

2nd-Rob Gray: 4H41'38” (Surely the plan came out just as he imagined it in his head, and he finished the stage first).

3rd Dede Grisbauer: 4H42'34” (Look how short after two have already been world champions).

4th-Steven Keller 4H45´33”

5º-Jon Greyell 4H52´ (From here is where the cut of "the chosen ones" would be, and where a beautiful fight takes place to do with the 2nd and 3rd place of the girls)

6th-Antonina Reznikov: 5H 12´

7th-Tara Norton: 5H23´

With this we can get an idea of ​​how a natural selection was made little by little, and that is that the UM puts each one in their place (although many years it was distorted by the lack of competitors), in fact it was like that the general of the first stage, and I order them sequentially with the time difference with the first, since this stage is the one that is most worth stopping at:

1st Rob Gray with 7H32'13”, 14 SECONDS AWAY! And in 2nd position; Dede Grisbauer (1st girl), 11´ Richard Thompson 3rd, 17´ Steven Keller 4th,

Here the step of "the chosen ones" is formed again, and the great time differences begin to emerge, at 47' Jon Greyell 5th, at 52' Barry Berg 6th, at 1H12' Tara Norton 2nd of the girls, at 1H27' Antonina Reznikov 3rd female, already 1H28' Leanda Cave 4th girl fighting with the others.

> 280K BIKE SECTOR of the 2nd STAGE:

We reached the "long" stage of the UM, and when we were all enjoying the long-awaited fierce fight between the two favorites: Rob and Richard, who were quite close to each other, with Rob "controlling the roost" from behind, followed by Steven Keller and, the great heroine of this UM, Dede Grisbauer….

Rob goes and hits a milk, bursting the front wheel, and suffering a spectacular fall that, unfortunately, makes him give up.

How do you say: “sheet metal and paint”, burns and blows to the right arm and leg, but of course; rushing to the Hospital to cure and rule out more serious issues.

Anyway, a pity... since we will be left without knowing what would have happened between the two in the 3rd stage...

But to continue, let's talk about the main beneficiaries of this withdrawal; Richard the first, since it opens, almost wide, the doors to his second World Championship, and the other two are Steven and Jon, who will no longer have to fight for 3rd place, although the latter had it for a while. little harder with Steven.

Although well, let's not eclipse the girls with this fall, and let's value the “great time” they did on the bike and the position in which they arrived; Dede being 3rd (I repeat: INCREDIBLE), 5th Antonina and 7th Tara. This was the first 7 of the 2nd stage:

1st-Ricard Thompson 7H35´

2º-Steven Keller 8H00´

3rd-Dede Grisbauer 8H02´ (1st girls)

4th-Jon Greyel 8H20´

5th-Antonina Reznikov 8H 35´

6th-Rodrigo Vasconcellos 8H47´

7º-Tara Norton 9H03´

Look at the detail; 3 girls among the 7 best times of the stage. "Don't comment."

>84,4K of the race sector of the 3rd STAGE:

We reached the stage of the "double marathon" with Richard Thompson as the leader, and Dede as the leader of the women's classification, and keep an eye on the data: 2nd IN THE GENERAL CLASSIFICATION...

The great beneficiaries of Rob's abandonment, after Richard, were Steven Keller, who took advantage of it to climb and consolidate 2nd position with a good race, and Jon Greyell who did not take advantage of the opportunity (or rather, that the race is his weak point ), and dropped to fifth position, letting her pass in the overall by Antonina, who did the best double marathon of the girls, which allowed her to rise to 4th overall, incredible too (we are talking about 2 girls between those who are supposed to be the 4 best ultraman triathletes in the world).

It was a nice double marathon, here I present the most interesting data, taking the opportunity to compare it with the general classification, since it is worth seeing the impact of the girls at the end of the classification.

 1º-Richard Thomposon 6H55´. First in the double marathon and brand new 2022 champion (we will always have the doubt that he would have passed with Rob). Even so, the Australian has given a recital on the bike and in that sector he has had no rival.

2nd-Steven Keller 7H21´. Second in the double marathon and in the general classification; 2nd also 1 hour from Richard. Very good double marathon taking advantage of the opportunity that other years I would not have had with that time (Note, I am not detracting from it, I am simply saying that the second and third places normally have even better times, and this is very good).

3rd-Antonina Reznikov 7H24´. Third in the double marathon (only 3' from the 2nd boy), and 1st from the girls. She being in the general in 4th place, being the runner-up in the world. I don't know what to say... How lucky we have been to see these women compete, I hope they repeat next year.

4th-Dede Grisbauer 7H48´. Being the 3rd GENERAL, and being 10' IN TOTAL from the runner-up in the world... For me it is the "ULTRAMAN CHAMPION".

This contrast was important to understand the general, now we will see the general from there:

5th-Jon Greyell; With 8:57' in the 3rd stage, she clearly deflated and she had kilometers to spare, so much so that Antonina passed her by. It is not usually normal for the 5th to be more than 3 hours behind the overall leader.

6th-Rodrigo Vasconcellos; with 7H54´ in the 3rd stage he gets a 6th place that tastes like glory.

7th-Yonatan Rivas Venegas; with 7h52´ in the final race he reaches 7th position.

8th-Leanda Cave; With 8:33' of the double marathon, she placed 3rd among the girls, unseating the double world champion Tara Norton.

9th-Tara Norton; With 9H22' in the 3rd stage, he could not maintain his place, but he completed a great Ultraman, and although it would have been incredible to win the Ultraman in Hawaii 3 times in a row, it is worthwhile to maintain the level all these years.

The Spanish

Regarding the role of the Spanish, our countrymen have complied and thanks to them we have had Spanish representation, it must be valued.

The first of the two to arrive was Luis from Above; who gets a creditable 20th place, and although many will see a total time 9 hours behind the leader, I must remember that, apart from the fact that it is the World Championship, it is also one of the toughest Ultramans in the world, 11 triathletes have not finished it there must be a reason…

For those who ignore the route, this ultraman has a difficult swim with currents, a demanding bike, not only because of the unevenness, but also because of the winds and rain (something always falls), and finally a double marathon that is "picking up" ” all the time… It really has merit. Congratulations Louis!

The other countryman; Miguel Madrid It cost him a little more, but there he has been "giving the calle" and finishing an ultraman that 11 triathletes have not managed to finish... Olé you; dude!

In addition, I am very happy that being 28th, was, only for a few seconds, the last place, because the last classified in the general classification in Hawaii wins a very endearing and special prize; a little Hawaiian turtle (calm; wooden), following the ultraman philosophy; and closing the cycle (only the first and the last take a prize "somewhat" different from the others, in Ultraman there is no podium precisely because of this different concept of competition). Congratulations Michael!

In short, a spectacular Ultraman that I hope I have conveyed to you even if it is only a quarter of the passion I feel for this distance of the triathlon, and even if it was only through an article, give you an idea.

From here I encourage all triathletes who have done long distance; to try this discipline and every time we "normalize" it, the more we are; better!

I say goodbye with the same tagline as years ago:

Ladies and gentlemen: I don't know if next year I will see it from Hawaii or from Spain, but what is certain is that I will see it! And you?

Ultraman lovers: ALOHA, OHANA, KOKUA.

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